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2021 Virtual Postbac Poster Days

Virtual 2021 Postbac Poster DAys Are on Their way!

Last year, the COVID-19 Pandemic forced us to hold Postbac Poster Day virtually. It was a great success. More than 870 postbacs presented their research online, and we still remember overwhelming enthusiasm from the whole NIH community, friends, and family. This year, Postbac Poster Days will be virtual again! We are scheduling virtual Poster Days from April 27th through April 29th. Be certain to register for Poster Day before the deadline (April 5th, 2021; 5:00 EDT) and watch for further information!

Postbac Poster Day is your opportunity to share the research you have been conducting at the NIH and at the same time develop your communication and networking skills.  We encourage all current NIH Postbacs to present at this virtual event.  At the poster session, in a normal year, you would be able to share background information on your project, present any data you may have collected, and discuss the technical problems you encountered as well as any results. However, given the current situation, we understand that many of you will be unable to share a full story. Some of you might just have started a new position and might not have any data or even a clear understanding of your project yet. We welcome all kinds of posters! Present a literature review or a completely new proposal! Please discuss your idea with your supervisor or PI first.

Please remember that publishing data anywhere has intellectual property implications. If you want to include data that might result in patentable ideas (or if you are uncertain) be sure you have the permission of your PI to share everything in your poster. In fact, regardless of what you want to present, get your PI’s permission before you submit.

In order to participate in the 2021 Virtual Postbac Poster Days, you should take the following actions:

  1. Register for the 2021 Poster Days (initial registration):  (deadline: April 5, 2021). If you have trouble logging in or don’t have an access to your NIH email account, please contact me at
  2. Please begin preparing your poster now. You will upload your poster (or share your screen) just before your poster session begins. (You will NOT submit your poster in advance.)
  3. Connect with the other members in your group virtually and practice your presentation before the event.
  4. Present your poster online to your group and several judges. Each virtual session will be about an hour and a half long. 

You will receive an email containing your poster session, poster number, and the names of other postbacs in your group. Expect it to arrive by April 9, 2021.

Postbac Poster Days Schedule:


Download the 2021 Postbac Poster Days Program PDF

View the COMPLETE Postbac Poster Days Program

Posters will be presented virtually on three days. Sessions are scheduled for each day at the following times:

  • 9:00-10:30 am
  • 11:00 am-12:30 pm
  • 1:00-2:30 pm
  • 3:00-4:30 pm

Institutes and Centers will present on these days:

Tuesday, April 27, 2021Wednesday, April 28, 2021Thursday, April 29, 2021

Poster Judging

Posters will be reviewed by teams composed of graduate students, postdocs, and other NIH scientific staff using a list of standard review criteria. The top 20% will receive a letter acknowledging their work.  NOTE: if a poster has more than one presenter, the first author will be responsible for presenting the poster and will be eligible to win an award.

Another Note: The Postbac Distinguished Mentor Awards for 2021 will be announced on the OITE webpage after April 27th.

Creating Your Virtual Poster

To promote scientific discussion and interaction, we recommend that participants hold a virtual meeting and present their posters to each other before the actual virtual poster session.

Virtual Poster Technical Requirements:

  • Poster Size: 48” (Width) and 36” (Height)
  • Poster Orientation: Landscape
  • Recommended Font Size:

    • Title: 80 pt
    • Section Headings: 54 pt
    • Secondary Section Headings or Figure Title: 44 pt
    • General Text: 36 – 40 pt
    • Figure/table legends: 28 pt
  • There is no limit to the size of the file

Virtual Poster Requirements: Content and Design


Include the following components in your poster presentation:

  • Title and Author Information:
    • Title
    • Author, Affiliation
    • Institute or Center name, logos
  • Content:
    • an introduction (providing background information),
    • a brief statement of the purpose of the project,
    • a description of materials and methods used, and
    • a summary of results and conclusions.

Begin to write and proof-read your poster several weeks in advance. You should develop and practice a short (3 to 5 minute) verbal description of the work \ that you can present to colleagues who “visit” your poster.

For further suggestions, on developing your poster, attend the virtual 2021 Workshop entitled "Creating and Presenting Dynamic Posters".  If you are not able to attend, please watch the videocast of an earlier workshop.

Here are some other general guidelines for laying out your poster:

  • A light background with dark text is easiest to read.
  • Use one font and style to integrate all portions of your poster.
  • Make sure the poster can be read from at least 4 - 6 feet away.
  • Label graphics directly and use tables for small data sets.
  • Keep your title simple and use it to state the conclusion or focus of your study.
  • Figures, diagrams, and bullet points are better than paragraphs of text.
  • A general rule of thumb is to allow 40% of your space for graphics, 20% for text, and 40% for white space.